To prepare cookie dough: Chop chocolate coarsely and place in the top of a double boiler over hot water. Stir until almost melted, then remove top...

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40 cookies


Cookie dough:


– 3 ounces semisweet chocolate
– 6 tablespoons butter, softened
– 6 tablespoons shortening
– ¾ cup granulated sugar
– 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/8 teaspoon salt
– 1 large egg
– 2 tablespoons milk
– ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
– 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour


Peppermint filling:



– 9 tablespoons butter, softened
– 1½ cups powdered sugar
– 2 tablespoons milk
– ¼ teaspoon plus 2 drops peppermint extract
– ¼ cup crushed peppermint candies



1. To prepare cookie dough: Chop chocolate coarsely and place in the top of a double boiler over hot water. Stir until almost melted, then remove top from pan and stir chocolate until completely melted. Set aside until cooled but still liquid.



2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla, then the melted chocolate. Slowly beat in flour just until combined. Chill dough 1 to 2 hours.



3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Form dough into balls about the size of a small walnut and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Press down in the center of each ball with your thumb. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until the tops look dry. Transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.



4. To prepare filling: In a bowl beat butter with an electric mixer or heavy wooden spoon until creamy. Gradually add about half of powdered sugar, beating until combined. Beat in milk and peppermint extract. Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar until smooth. Spoon or pipe a scant teaspoon into center of each cookie. Sprinkle with peppermint candies. Let set up for about 1 hour before storing in covered tins in refrigerator.



Note: To crush the candies, put into a zip-top plastic bag, close and crush with a rolling pin on a sturdy surface. The unfilled cookies can be made a month in advance and frozen. Defrost before filling.



From “Cookies for Christmas” by Jennifer Dorland Darling